Letter from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; October 8, 2013:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write to you to express extreme displeasure in how you are overseeing the budget impasse in Congress known as the “government shutdown.”
Ostensibly, a government shutdown would revolve around saving taxpayer funds. That is not the case in this instance. In fact, your administration seems to be going to great lengths and sparing no expense to sell your particular shutdown narrative.
While the media eagerly accepts this narrative, we in public service know the truth. The IRS is still collecting taxes and the NSA is still compiling metadata. Vital services are still available and essential employees are still getting paid.
There is no government shutdown, merely a slowdown. What’s worse is that public displays of this so-called shutdown appear to be packaged for mass media consumption. Your administration seems to be in the business of selling this “shutdown” as a creation of House Republicans when it is in truth a maneuver by Senate Democrats to save the implementation of your administration’s legislative showpiece.
Witness the barricading of the World War II Memorial in Washington. This is a memorial that, while usually staffed during business hours, is open to the public 24 hours a day. The public “closing” of this memorial and keeping veterans off the grounds by threat of force was a farce. The closing of the D-Day Memorial and 24 other memorials overseas just adds insult to injury.
Tennesseans are well aware of this tactic. Over ten years ago when our state faced a budget crisis, state parks in key legislative districts were closed. This was a last ditch effort by liberals to scare Tennesseans into supporting higher taxes. The Obama administration has similarly shut down federal parks in Tennessee, in some cases blocking roads children need to take to school. This tactic was transparent then and it is transparent now.
Just like the old tax and spenders in Tennessee, the Obama administration hopes to intimidate opponents of Obamacare into capitulating and selling out their constituents – constituents who want the Affordable Care Act repealed and replaced.
Your administration wants us to believe we cannot reduce the budget and we must continue down the path of increasing our debt. Yet the Senate has not passed a budget in over four years and our debt as a percentage of GDP sits at nearly 73%.
We know that the people of Tennessee see through this blatant attempt to manipulate public perception. We hope the rest of the nation sees this “shutdown” not as the folly of Republican intransigence but for what it truly is: a face-saving measure by a President to ram through the implementation of unworkable legislation.
The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus